Get Divx Pro Bundle For FREE

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Written on 12:45 PM by Sarthak K

The DivX 6 Bundle contains everything you need to create and play DivX videos on a PC or a Mac - that includes the DivX Player, DivX Pro codec and DivX Converter. and you can get the Pro version for FREE - for a limited time!

The DivX converter compresses the size of your home video files and DVD movies without much affecting the quality. And the DivX Codec ensures that you can play those DivX movies in any of favorite media players.

A DivX Create bundle costs $20 but you can have it for free during the holiday season.

1. Download DivX Pro at divx.com [Select the Mac or Windows version]

2. You can either share your email address with DivX to get your own serial number for DivX Converter or if you don’t want to receive DivX offers in future, just use the following serial numbers:

For Windows: A3NI9M7P47B325A52C26
For Mac: 338BSZ759249T26B2M9E

Thanks to Digital Inspiration

How to Disable Video Ads in MSN Messenger

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Written on 1:24 PM by Sarthak K

You can disable video ads at the bottom of Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messneger) and make sure that it only displays static picture ads. Follow these steps :

1. Go into Show Menu > Tools > Options
2. On the Options window click General on the left side.
3. Find "Video Carousel" line on the right side.
4. Uncheck "Show Video Carousel" and click OK.

Info Sources: Solid Documents Blog and imessenger

Movie - MP3; Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar

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Written on 5:20 AM by Sarthak K

I recently watched the bollywood movie - Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar(MP3) on a friend's recommendation. And dudes, I loved it. A teen flick with a completely new cast..no stars, a wonderful mix of comedy and romance.

It is a flick that takes you back to your school days. Back to the times when you had your first crush. However, you may not have pursued the girl you loved to the extent the young protagonist in ‘Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar’ does – right to the Eiffel Tower in a Tom Cruise style.

For teenagers, ‘MP3’ is a film they can directly relate to. For adults, it is a trip down the memory lane. And mind you, memory never fades when it comes to one’s first love. You always remember it.

Rohan (Ruslaan Mumtaz) and his group of friends enjoy the school life to the fullest. They attend classes, bunk them, talk about girls, talk about their sexy schoolteacher, play pranks, and do all the things that any pack of brats of their age would do.

Ayesha (Hazel) is a fresher who has come from abroad. Her first meeting with Rohan is a bit bizarre. After a series of interesting encounters, the two become friends and eventually fall in love. Find out the rest of the adventure for yourself!

What you instantaneously like about the young school-going pair is that they are in character. Neither Ruslaan Mumtaz nor Hazel strain for effect to show they're supposed to be falling in love for the first time.

There's a natural progression to their friendship that's never jerked by redundant drama.
Most refreshingly, the parents on both sides are supremely cool about the growing fondness between their kids. "Clean up the mess," Ruslaan's mom orders as he tucks dreamily into chocolates on the living-room sofa.

Love, if you must know, is no big deal. Live with it.

The naughty bits among the school brats are well matched by the coochie-cooing in Paris.What you like best about this teen-dream is its unassuming pacing. No sighs of strain in the storytelling, no quickening of the pulse and no moments that repulse. The movie had released a few months go, but sadly, poor publicity had it off from the cinema screens pretty soon. However, this is one flick which is getting popular by word of mouth (and word of blog!)

Facebook Invitation Spam Gets Worse

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Written on 12:35 PM by Sarthak K

Invitation Spam has become a major problem for Facebook members ever since they introduced the f8 platform. And unfortunately, Facebook still offers no solution to deal with this growing menace.

For instance, there are around 40 pending messages in my Facebook account each inviting me to “some” Facebook application. To clear this queue alone, I will have to hit the Ignore button on Facebook minimum 40 times.

The worst part is that each time I approve a new friend request on Facebook, this long web page loads itself in the browser. So it also makes Facebook slow.

Facebook is one platform which I really like...its way better than myspace and orkut and generally less spammy. But with such a plethora of applications, and the fact that all of them want a viral way to access your information, will mean that you'll get scores (maybe more, it depends..) of invitations from your friends to install an application.

Is there any solution to this growing menace? Maybe an "ignore all application invites" button would be a good option!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince Casting Complete

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Written on 1:49 AM by Sarthak K

It's confirmed! Warner Bros announced that they've completed casting Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Joining the cast of the sixth Harry Potter movie are Academy Award-winner Jim Broadbent (Iris) as Potions Professor Horace Slughorn and Helen McCrory who earned rave reviews playing the wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair in the critically acclaimed drama, The Queen. McCrory's taking on the role of Draco Malfoy's mother, Narcissa.

In addition to Broadbent and McCrory, newcomers to the Harry Potter movie franchise will include Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown. Jessie, a 20-year-old actress, is about to appear on TV in new CBBC drama Summerhill, and on the big screen in forthcoming film Inkheart opposite Dame Helen Mirren. She is two years older than the age stipulated at the audition in July. Then, producers held an open casting call for girls aged 15-18 at Earls Court in London and said "no acting experience necessary". Around 7,000 hopefuls queued for hours in a bid to win the role of their dreams.

Lavender is Ron Weasley's girlfriend and a fellow pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She kisses him constantly and calls him "Won Won" - much to his dismay - while he secretly pines for Hermione Granger.

Meanwhile, Ralph Fiennes’s nine-year-old nephew has landed a part in the next Harry Potter film – playing a younger version of Fiennes’s character. Hero Fiennes Tiffin will join his uncle and cast regulars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in which he plays Lord Voldemort, the villain, as an 11-year-old.

Frank Dillane, the 16-year-old son of the actor Stephen Dillane, will play the teenage Voldemort. The Harry Potter rookies will be joining a huge batch of returning Harry Potter cast members.

India Has 4th Fastest Supercomputer

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Written on 10:04 AM by Sarthak K

India's Tata group and Hewlett-Packard said onTuesday they had built the Asia-Pacific region's most powerful supercomputer - in a major boost to scientific research in India.

The supercomputer has made it into a top ten of the world's fastest supercomputers. In fact, it made it to the 4th place in a list of top 500 supercomputers.


Computer giant IBM continues to dominate the list - which is compiled twice a year. Its Blue Gene/L supercomputer - used to ensure the US nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe and reliable - comes out at number one.

Computational Research Laboratories (CRL), a wholly owned Tata unit, built the machine, named "Eka" ("the one" in Sanskrit), using HP's high-end "computer building blocks," the two companies said.

Scientists and engineers would have the ability to perform 120 trillion "floating point operations" per second using the supercomputer, the most powerful in Asia including Japan and the world's fourth most powerful, they said.

The speed of floating point operations, or FLOPS, is an important measure of performance for computers, especially in scientific calculations.

The system will be initially targeted at developing applications such as neural, molecular and crash simulations, and digital media animation and rendering.

"The supercomputer system will have a direct affect on the lives of Indians, espcially in areas such as earthquake and Tsunami modelling, modellings of the economy and potential for drug design,"
said Mr S. Ramadorai, chairman of the Computational Research Laboratories, which is a subsidiary of Indian firm Tata.

The supercomputer, which uses the fastest processors made by microchip giant Intel, promises to help push scientific and industrial discovery to "unprecedented limits,"

Third place on the top 500 list went to a new supercomputing centre based in New Mexico, while fifth place went to another Hewlett-Packard system installed at a Swedish government agency.

Sources: BBC and AFP

Juno Free Advance Film Screening

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Written on 3:29 PM by Sarthak K

"Juno" is Hollywood's most acclaimed movie of the year 2007. Set to release in December this year, the movie has won accolades at all major film festivals. "Juno" recently won the best film award at the Rome film festival, about which I recently posted at my filmmaking blog. Fox Searchlight has decided to push up the release of Juno, hoping to ride high on the incredible festival buzz.

But you need not wait for the film's release to see it!

There are 74 upcoming free advance screenings at the time this was posted. You can RSVP here. Promotional screenings are on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed seating. No purchase necessary. Seating is limited to theater capacity. Check out the list of theaters and dates after the jump. And of course, its all in the US!

* Monday, Oct 29 7:00 PM AMC Village 7, New York

* Monday, Oct 29 8:00 PM AMC River East , Chicago

* Tuesday, Oct 30 7:00 PM Regal Oakwood 18, Holl

* Tuesday, Oct 30 7:00 PM AMC Fashion Valley, San Diego

* Tuesday, Oct 30 7:00 PM Fifth Ave, Vancouver

* Tuesday, Oct 30 7:30 PM Regal Hollywood 24, Atlanta

* Tuesday, Oct 30 7:30 PM Uptown Palladium, Birmigham

* Thursday, Nov 01 7:00 PM Regal Fenway, Boston

* Thursday, Nov 01 7:00 PM Bellevue Galleria, Bellevue

* Thursday, Nov 01 7:30 PM Mann Chinese 6, Los Angeles

* Thursday, Nov 01 7:30 PM AMC Studio 30, Houston

* Thursday, Nov 01 7:30 PM AMC Georgetown, Washington

* Thursday, Nov 01 7:30 PM Embarcadero , San Francisco

* Wednesday, Nov 07 7:30 PM AMC Star Southfield, Southfield

* Wednesday, Nov 07 7:30 PM Landmark E Street, Washington

* Thursday, Nov 08 7:00 PM AMC Boston Common, Boston

* Thursday, Nov 08 7:00 PM Hollywood Blvd. Theatre, Woodridge

* Thursday, Nov 08 7:00 PM UltraStar Hazard Center, San Diego

* Thursday, Nov 08 7:00 PM AMC West 34th Street 14, New York

* Monday, Nov 12 7:30 PM Phoenix Union Station, Washington

* Tuesday, Nov 13 7:00 PM AMC Harvard Sq., Cambridge

* Wednesday, Nov 14 7:00 PM Landmark La Jolla Village, La Jolla

* Wednesday, Nov 14 7:30 PM Landmark Mayan, DENVER

* Thursday, Nov 15 7:00 PM Drexel East Theatre, Columbus

* Thursday, Nov 15 7:00 PM AMC Village 7, New York

* Thursday, Nov 15 7:00 PM AMC Greenwood, indianapolis

* Thursday, Nov 15 7:30 PM AMC Forum, Sterling Heights

* Thursday, Nov 15 7:30 PM Angelika Plano, Plano

* Monday, Nov 19 7:00 PM UA Circle Centre, indianapolis

* Monday, Nov 19 7:00 PM AMC Easton, Columbus

* Monday, Nov 19 7:30 PM Emagine Canton, Canton

* Tuesday, Nov 20 7:00 PM AMC Empire 25, New York

* Tuesday, Nov 20 7:30 PM Angelika Dallas, Dallas

* Wednesday, Nov 21 7:30 PM Landmark Chez Artiste, DENVER

* Thursday, Nov 29 7:00 PM MARCUS CROSSWOODS, Columbus

* Thursday, Nov 29 7:00 PM UA Pavilions, DENVER

* Thursday, Nov 29 7:00 PM AMC Lowes College Park, indianapolis

* Thursday, Nov 29 7:30 PM Regal Gallery Place, Washington

* Thursday, Nov 29 7:30 PM Landmark Magnolia, Dallas

* Monday, Dec 03 7:00 PM CC Cherry Creek, DENVER

* Monday, Dec 03 7:30 PM Broadway Centre, Salt Lake City

* Wednesday, Dec 05 7:00 PM Regal Fenway, Boston

* Wednesday, Dec 05 7:00 PM Showcase Warwick Mall, Warwick

* Wednesday, Dec 05 7:30 PM Landmark Maple Art, Bloomfield Hills

* Thursday, Dec 06 7:00 PM Regal Village Park, Carmel

* Thursday, Dec 06 7:00 PM AMC Harvard Sq., Cambridge

* Thursday, Dec 06 7:00 PM Drexel Gateway, Columbus

* Tuesday, Dec 11 7:00 PM Showcase Seekonk Rt. 6, Seekonk

* Tuesday, Dec 11 7:00 PM AMC Boston Common, Boston

* Tuesday, Dec 11 7:30 PM Landmark Main Art, Royal Oak

* Wednesday, Dec 12 7:00 PM Landmark Kendall Sq., Cambridge

* Thursday, Dec 13 7:00 PM Arena Grand Theatre, Columbus

* Thursday, Dec 13 7:00 PM CC Olde Towne, Arvada

* Thursday, Dec 13 7:00 PM Keystone Art Cinema, indianapolis

* Thursday, Dec 13 7:30 PM Trolley Square, Salt Lake City

* Monday, Dec 17 7:00 PM Bow Tie Palace, West Hartford

* Monday, Dec 17 7:00 PM Showcase Providence Place, Providence

* Monday, Dec 17 7:30 PM Birmingham 8, Birmingham

* Wednesday, Dec 19 7:00 PM Gateway Megaplex, Salt Lake City

* Wednesday, Dec 19 7:30 PM Landmark Esquire, DENVER

* Thursday, Dec 20 7:00 PM Keystone Art Cinema, indianapolis

* Thursday, Dec 20 7:00 PM Drexel Grandview, Columbus

Watch Juno trailer here.

Mozilla Firefox For Mobile

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Written on 2:12 PM by Sarthak K


Yep, you read it right! Get ready for Firefox Mobile. Guys at Mozilla are working on a mobile version of Firefox :


"People ask us all the time about what Mozilla's going to do about the mobile web, and I'm very excited to announce that we plan to rock it. Here's some information about what we're planning to do with hiring, technology, partnerships, and products, and how you can get involved.

Short summary: we are serious about bringing the Firefox experience and technology to mobile devices."


Why increase Mozilla's presence in mobile?

* A large portion of the world accesses the Internet from mobile devices, and this will become increasingly true over time (mobile devices outsell computers 20-1). Each Firefox install is an individual choice by a person to download something that didn't ship by default on their computer. Why not offer that option for mobile devices?

* Firefox the most popular open-source browser on the planet with > 100 million active users. Bringing Firefox add-ons, the Mozilla platform (including XUL), open source, and a large and passionate community to the closed and fragmented mobile platform will do the world some serious good.

* Firefox and Mozilla give device manufacturers the best of both worlds: shared investment in the core open-source project plus the flexibility they need to customize the browser for their devices.

Read More from Source

Related posts
Mozilla Firefox Rocks Again

Facebook's Open Secret to Making a Collage

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Written on 1:51 PM by Sarthak K


Here's a simple question for anyone who has been on Facebook for some time now.

How do you create a photo collage of your Facebook Friends (as shown above) without using any of the available Facebook Apps or third-party tools?

And no matter how large your Facebook friends list is, the whole process should not take more than 2 seconds.

Hint: This secret feature is available right inside Facebook though Mark Zuckerberg and his team never told us about it.

Answer: Once you finish exploring all the options in Facebook, read the solution.

Source: Digital Inspiration

Harry Potter October Update

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Written on 2:57 PM by Sarthak K

JK Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson are among many British celebrities and distinguished guests, including HRH Prince Charles and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who will be in attendance at year's Pride of Britain Awards on Tuesday, October 9th at the Dorchester Hotel in London's Park Lane.

The awards are given out to those outstanding British citizens who show great courage, care, and selflessness and are an inspiration to all.

Meanwhile, Director David Yates is quoted in a UK newspaper saying the role of Young Voldemort for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film has been cast, but refused to give the name of the young actor who will play him in the sixth Harry Potter movie. There are speculations that the actor in question may be the young nephew of Ralph Fiennes who of course portrays Lord Voldemort. The article states that while David Yates declined to reveal the name of the actor, the columnist says that the role will be played by 11 year old Titan Tiffin.

Yates - the director of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, which is due out in November next year had also directed the 5th harry Potter movie - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.



Talking of the 5th HP film, fans would be glad to know that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix dominated ITV's first National Movie Awards at London's Royal Festival Hall, after winning three gongs. It won best family movie, while its star Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the boy wizard, won best male performance. Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the movie, scooped best female actress.

And finally, the Russian edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be out on October 13. Most big bookshops will open at midnight on October 12. The Russian publishing house Rosman, which publishes Harry Potter books in Russian, believes that all of 1.8 million books of the first printing will be sold out in a week.

Sources: Leaky Cauldron and Veritaserum

Crop Art - Literally!

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Written on 1:00 PM by Sarthak K

Since 1993, farmers in Japan's Aomori prefecture have been creating crop art by mixing colored rice plants in with the regular stuff.

japanese art

crop art

Each year, they create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety.

Too see more of this amazing crop art, visit here.

Banning Cars in London Only Way to Reach 2030 Emssision Target?

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Written on 11:42 PM by Sarthak K

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in London 60% by 2025. It’s a massive goal, and one which many believe is unreachable using current methods. A new study shows that some radical moves might be needed in order to achieve it, such as banning all cars from London. The report was written by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Transport Studies Unit of the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, and explains that London will only make a 10-23% reduction at its current rate, but that their plan could achieve a 72% drop by 2030.



After reading the report, Auto Blog Green explain that, “Much of the reason that London's emissions are too high to begin with is that very few people walk, ride their bicycle or take public transportation.”

I think that this is far from true, as all trains and buses in London are packed to bursting at rush hour, and there are a lot of cyclists waiting at every red light. Yes, too many people drive, but the main problem is that public transport in London is old-fashioned and straining under the weight of far more traffic than it was designed for.

Not that many people actually drive to work in Central London, compared to the number that take public transport, but it doesn’t take very much traffic to clog up it’s ancient streets.

Although it seems very unlikely that cars would ever be banned from London, especially outer London, it does look as though the congestion charge will be raised, and its area increased.
Every time this happens the amount of traffic in the city will decrease, and it will be more comfortable for cyclists and pedestrians. Some pedestrian-only streets wouldn’t hurt either, but we’ll see if the next mayor shares Ken’s congestion-charge ideals.

Source: Treehugger.com

Harry Potter Film Series Biggest Cinema Grosser

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Written on 5:30 AM by Sarthak K

The Harry Potter film series has become the biggest in box office history, beating James Bond and Star Wars. The five movies have taken $4.47bn (£2.2bn) around the world, surpassing the $4.44bn (£2.19bn) made by the spy franchise's 22 outings to date.

The six Star War films now sit in third place, with takings of $4.23bn (£2bn).
There are still two Harry Potter films to be released next year and in 2010, based on the final instalments of the popular books by author JK Rowling.

The latest film, The Order of the Phoenix, remains a box office draw in a dozen countries, and has taken over $920m (£454m) around the world.

The film entered the UK box office chart at number one in July, taking six times as much as its nearest rival in just three days.

Each of the first five films is in the top 20 worldwide cinema releases of all time.

Source: BBC

Jesus Christ Conviction Illegal: Court Case in Kenya

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Written on 1:24 PM by Sarthak K



A group of Kenyans have grabbed media attention here after they filed a suit at the High Court challenging the arrest and sentencing of Jesus Christ about 2000 years ago.

The Friends of Jesus, through Judiciary spokesman Dola Indidis, told the court this week that they want to set the record straight that Jesus was innocent. They alleged that the arrest, torture and punishment of Jesus was unlawful and amounted to violation of his human rights.

Indidis told Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch that he discovered last week that a serious crime had been committed against Jesus. He said there was need to move with speed to seek orders to declare the punishment meted out to Jesus 2000 years ago illegal.

The prosecution named the respondents as Tiberius, the emperor of Rome between 42 BC and 37 AD, Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea during the time of Jesus, Caiphas, the high priest, Jewish chief priests, Jewish elders, Jewish teachers of the law and King Herod of Galilee.

Lawyer Michael Chemwok said he had not served the respondents with the suit papers as required in law. It is not known how he is going to serve the papers on them to appear for the hearing of the case or even to appoint lawyers to represent them because they all died many years.

But the judge ruled that the case was not urgent and directed Indidis to take hearing dates from the court registry. The High Court is on vacation.

Sources: allafrica.com, news.com.au

"Extinct" Dolphin Caught on Camera

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Written on 1:02 PM by Sarthak K



A sighting of a rare Dolphin, thought to be extinct, has been caught on camera in China

A Chinese man has videotaped a large white animal swimming in the Yangtze river, which experts say is a dolphin species unique to China and feared extinct, the official Xinhua agency reported on Wednesday.

The last confirmed sighting of the long-beaked, nearly blind baiji was in 2004. After an international team failed to find a single dolphin on a six-week expedition last year the species was classified as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

But the video from central Anhui province may renew slender hopes for the survival of the creatures also known as white-flag dolphins and traditionally considered a deity by local people.

"I never saw such a big thing in the water before, so I filmed it," dolphin-spotter Zeng Yujiang told Xinhua. "It was about 1,000 meters (yards) away and jumped out of water several times."

Wang Kexiong, of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said experts at the institute had confirmed the footage was of a baiji.

Source: Reuters

A Month After Deathly Hallows

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Written on 11:43 AM by Sarthak K

deathly hallowsIts August 21, exactly one month after Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows was released worldwide. By now, all Harry Potter fans would have already read, and some even re-read the book twice or thrice! But what after this? Do you feel the same feeling of emptiness? The time is here when we wont be eagerly anticipating, discussing, and predicting the events of the next Harry Potter book.

Even though I did not really relish the 7th and final harry potter book (read my review of Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows), I do feel a sort of hollow within me. Maybe the same feeling which Harry felt after Sirius died. Though Harry hasn't really died, it seems his adventures have surely come to an end.

Harry Potter fans who will relsih anything Harry potter, here are some latest HP updates for you:


Do check out Emma Watson's official website if you haven't already, its quite nice!

IF any of you find a book as unputdownable and re-readable as Harry Potter, please let us know via comments.

Vista Trick: You Talk, Vista Listens

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Written on 5:32 AM by Sarthak K

Windows Vista offers speech recognition tools for those who would rather speak than type when communicating with their computers. After it has been set up, Vista’s speech recognition offers you yet another input method, one that is ultimately better than other methods if you have difficulty typing or mousing due to an injury or disability or if you simply lack the typing skills necessary to input data quickly. You can find the Speech Recognition options in Control Panel, but better than that, you can find it by typing Speech in the Start Search window. When you open Speech Recognition, you’ll see the options show in the figure below:



Configuring your Speech Recognition experience

The order in which the items are listed isn’t necessarily the order you should take when you first start using speech recognition. However, to start, you should click Start Speech Recognition. Vista will walk you through the setup process.

Starting Speech Recognition
When you click Start Speech Recognition, a wizard starts to help you through the process. You’ll need to have your microphone or headset installed prior to starting for the easiest setup. As you’re working through the wizard, you’ll be prompted to select your input method (microphone, headset, other), properly position the microphone, and speak a few words in your natural speaking voice. With that done, you’ll see the option to enable document review. By enabling document review, you can improve the computer’s capability to understand what you say, by allowing the computer to learn words and phrases you use when you speak.

Start Listening
After setting up Speech Recognition, you’ll see the listening window shown in the figure below. It continues to say Sleeping until you tell it to Start Listening. After you say the words Start Listening, the speech recognition interface changes to denote what you’re doing. That can be talking, clicking the taskbar (as shown in the following figure), or performing some other task. The Listening option shows what you’ll see if the Speech Recognition tool is waiting for you to say something. The following figure shows what you’ll see after you say “Start listening.”



Sleeping, Switched to taskbar, Listening

Opening the Speech Reference Card
Obviously, “Start listening” is a command Speech Recognition knows. But what else does it understand? To find out, open the Speech Reference Card. A Help and Support page opens with all kinds of information regarding speech tools. Click Common Speech Recognition Commands (see figure below)



Frequently used Speech Recognition commands

Here’s how this works: First, with the Speech Recognition tool running, say, “Start listening.” Follow that with “Move speech recognition.” Now, open Internet Explorer or any other window that can be scrolled up or down. Say, “Scroll down;” then say, “Scroll up.” You’ll get the idea how these commands work after playing with them a bit.

Taking the Speech Tutorial
Although you’ll be able to start communicating with Speech Recognition immediately, it’s best to take the Speech Tutorial as soon as you can. You can access the Speech Tutorial by selecting Control Panel, Speech Recognition Options. The speech tutorial will help you understand how speech recognition works and how to customize it to suit your needs and preferences.

In this particular page of the tutorial, you’re asked to say, “Show speech options.” If your computer understands the command then you are doing fine. If it does not, you’ll see “What was that?” in the Speech Recognition window.

Training Your Computer to Better Understand You
Finally, you can continue to train your PC to better understand you by completing the Voice Recognition Training, available by selecting Control Panel, Speech Recognition

Options, Train Your Computer to Understand You Better. During this training, you’ll be prompted to read the text on the screen and Vista will learn how you speak, what nuances are included in your voice or accent, and more. It’s recommended you work through the Speech Tutorial before doing this training.

Advanced Speech Options
You’ll probably want to visit the advanced speech options, available from the left pane of Control Panel, Speech Recognition Options. You’ll see the options in the following figure.



Configuring advanced Speech Properties

As you can see here, you can create additional speech profiles, which is useful if more than one person uses the SpeechRecognition program on this PC. In that case,you can select to run Speech Recognition at startup and configure microphones and audio input levels. If you’re interested in Text to Speech capabilities, notice there’s a tab for that, too.

For some excellent information on the Microsoft development of speech technology over the past decade, check out this link:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/06/01/speechinWindowsVista/

Guide to the Cell Phones

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Written on 6:07 AM by Sarthak K

Few tools of modern technology have become as prevalent as the cell phone, which allows you to be in touch (almost) all the time, (almost) anywhere. And you can do more than just talk--modern phones let you send and receive e-mail and text messages, and even surf the Web. Sifting through the sea of service plans and handsets can be difficult, but reading the right sort of cell phone reviews might put you on the right track.


How to Buy a Cellphone?

If you're shopping for a low-end cell phone, you can expect to spend anywhere from nothing to about $149. Many low-end phones are free when you sign a contract with the service provider, or after a mail-in rebate. Also, many cell phone companies offer great discounts when you purchase phones online. A typical cell phone costs anywhere from $150 to $299, while higher-end cell phones run $300 and up.

Because you'll be carrying the phone, its weight and size are fairly important factors to consider before you buy. Most cell phones weigh from 3 to 6 ounces; generally, the more expensive a phone is, the smaller and lighter it is. (PDA phones, however, are an exception to this rule; they tend to be bulkier and heavier than standard cell phones.)

Battery life is another important factor, since it determines how long you can go without recharging the phone, and you don't want to be stranded with a dead battery. Talk-time battery life can range from little more than 1 hour to over 10 hours, depending on your handset. "Standby battery life" refers to battery life while phone is on but not in use. Vendors will estimate both talk-time and standby battery life, but their estimates do not always reflect real-world usage.

Deciding between single- and dual-mode phones is less critical. Dual-band phones work on both analog and digital networks. They provide far greater coverage because digital networks don't cover the entire nation. Sound quality on analog networks isn't as good, however, and you may have to pay additional fees if you use the analog network on a digital plan.

Similarly, choosing among single-, dual-, tri-, and quad-band phones isn't critical for most users. The more bands a phone supports, the more frequencies it picks up.

Coming back to cell phone reviews, they help you best to compare between your favourite phones. For example, you might be interested in a Nokia N70 and Motorola RAZR maxx Ve, and you have a to make a choice between them. Of course, that's where the cellphone reviews come and help. You get to know the difference between features, prices, battery life and lots of other stuff.

Check out my First Forum

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Written on 10:28 AM by Sarthak K

Hello dear readers! Apologies for the long delay in posting. I was unable to post on account of busy-ness and laziness...Anyways, I got some news for you.

As you can gather from the title, I've just made my first forum at www.slgp.org/forums.

You may wonder..."what on earth is slgp?????"

Well S.L.G.P. stands for Social Linking and Getting Paid! Actually, I've made it stand for those words. The reason I bought a domain like slgp.org might appear absurd to some, but here's the story:

This was an expired domain that had a Google Pagerank of 4 when it expired, and someone was selling it at Digital Point forums. I bought it for $20 at that time (May 2007) but since I did not use its pagerank fell to 3 in the PR update that happened during the last week of May. So I got my act together and made a word cloud advertising site at the main domain, i.e. slgp.org.

However, I was worried that it might not be very seo friendly since the content was bound to be static. Hence, the idea dea for a forum on the subfolder. I haven't really promoted the word cloud site much yet, I'm actually hoping for it to get back to PR 4 in the next update so that I can profit better from it. So I've started promoting the Social Linking and Getting Paid Forums and have got a few good members there. The forum discusses things like blogging, social networking (orkut, myspace, facebook etc), social bookmarking (netscape, digg, stumbleupon etc) and other discussions related to the internet and blogging. You might call it a webmaster forum but its not because the forum categories dont go deep into hardcore webmaster stuff like scripts, domains, directories etc. In fact, I'm sure it will be a heaven for newbie bloggers, mid-pro bloggers, internet geeks and laymen alike. The basic aim of this forum is to help bloggers achieve profitability and popularity from blogging.

We are a small community right now and I'll be grateful if you could sign up and help contribute to it - slgp.org/forums. Cheers!

Deathly Hallows Or a Book Full of Hollows?

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Written on 12:47 PM by Sarthak K

On the night before July 21 dawned, I could not sleep properly. I thought of Nargles and Crumpled Horned Snorkbacks, of Puking pasties and Fanged frisbees, of Dobby and Kreacher, of Snape, Dumby, Ron, Hermione and finally Parry Otter - The Boy who Lived...and whether he would continue to live at the end of the 7th Harry Potter book.

I woke up at 7 am... hoping against hope that i would get the book by 8 o' clock. How sadly mistaken I was! Minutes glided into hours, and at 1 pm I emailed the customer care at IndiaPlaza.In - the online shop from where I had pre-ordered my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and asked when the hell were they planning to send the book! By 4 pm, I was getting pretty nasty and ill-tempered, I kept imagining the doorbell ringing in the back of my head. At 6pm, I sent another email to the customer care at Indiaplaza (they hadn't mentioned any phone no. on the site) and this time it was full of expletives and a threat to drag them to consumer court if I did not get the book by that day! And by 6:30 pm, when I had lost all hopes of reading Harry Potter 7 on July 21 - the doorbell actually rang! I rushed like a maniac, asked the 2 guys who had a grubby looking brown package in their hands...what kept them waiting?! I never bothered to listen to what they replied as I signed on the paper and grabbed that package! Opening it with all the wonder and excitement of an 11 year old, I couldn't stop staring at the cover for a full 2 minutes - I finally had it!

I read it continuously (except for a dinner break from 9 to 9:30 pm) and finished it at 11 am on 22nd July, 2007...phew! And now its time for the review, which was due for quite some days, but it took time for me to gather my thoughts...confused as I was about why I found the book below my expectations.

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Beware of Spoilers if you haven't read it yet!

When I completed the book, I felt a sense of loss. Not exactly due to the half a dozen character deaths, but because I felt...cheated! Rowling seems to have rushed through writing this last book, and I wonder who put that sand timer on her head. The really good moments in the book were when we get to know about the real Severus Snape, the Gringotts heist and escape from the Malfoy Manor. Rowling does close a lot of loopholes in this book, but then she also disregards facts she has herself mentioned in interviews galore!

For example, I distinctly remember J.K Rowling saying in an interview that Ginny is a powerful witch and we will see her real power in the 7th Book. Oddly though, Ginny is completely sidelined in Deathly Hallows - her romance with Harry be damned! And I thought it was 'love' that the Dark Lord knew not, and which could help Harry vanquish him.

Ruhi writes on her blog that she's completely pissed with Rowling after reading Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows. Here's a small quote from her entertaining blog post:


"You tell us in the interview that Grindelwald is dead and then you bring him back alive? AND WHO THE FUCK IS THIS BARBAGE??!!! never heard of this teacher. I DIDN”T even feel sympathetic when she died. ACCIO HAGRID! ACCIO ROWLING!!! So that I can KILL HER!"

On Ruhi's later blog post the next day - Fond Memories with my Harry Potter (carpet) Book, I suggest you scroll down and read the comment posted by one Seraphella. It is amazing...quite similar to my own thoughts about Deathly Hallows, and which she expressed way better! Here's quoting from Seraphella's comment in case you feel to lazy to leave this page:

"Rowling has lost a fan in me. She believes this is her best work yet? It’s rushed trash. Sure it reads well, but it lacks the depth of the other novels. She’s made Harry go from mysteriously powerful young wizard to bumbling moron who only knows 5 spells. You’d think after 6 years in school, he’d have added a bit more to his repetoire. Even Crabbe pulls out a nice new spell while Harry runs around shouting the same old crap…”Stupefy! Accio! Expelliarmos! Protego!” The dialogue read like something I’d expect from a teenager or George Lucas. It was way too juvenile and cliche-ish. The blatant stupidity she showed in Malfoy’s cronies I guess a 4th grader might find amsing, I remember writing like that at that age, but I’d figure someone who’s had a bit of experience could have found a more literary and descriptive means of showing a character’s dimwittedness. Crabbe and Goyle were 17 during their dialogue…how many 17 year olds talk like toddlers?

The plot now…bah! Did she run out of material and decide to borrow some uncopyrighted ideas from fan-fictions? I can understand the Harry-Voldemort connection thing. I really can, but that was developed in book 4 and became way too obvious to use…or at least I’d have thought. Here everyone was thinking what a clever woman, spinning such a vivid and twining tale with complex themes and goals, but we were wrong. The plot, motives, the whole story ended up quite simple. "

Seriously, hers is more of an essay than a blog post comment! She writes further:

"Now to nit-pick…What’s with accomplishing major turning points in the tale without even bothering to show them, describe them and hardly mention them. In no particular order…Percy Weasley miraculously shows up and in 2 lines makes up with everyone and runs into battle. Umm…yeah. Let’s destroy the cup in the chamber of secrets but not tell us anything about what happened. Ron and Hermione just scamper off, come back and say “We destroyed it, your Turn Harry.” Mrs. Weasley somehow becomes a master duelist? Lupin and Tonks? Come on, if you’re going to remove some characters that had personality, at least tell us how it happened. The sword somehow made it back inside the hat? I figured that goblin would never have given it up. In the course of a year, Neville goes from bumbling idiot to heroic He-Man while the Hero Harry turns into a forgetful no talent puppet? Lily Potter had no friends even though she charmed everyone, and yet James had a million friends? I’m sure Lily must have had some friends who would have mentioned Snape’s friendship with her. I guess after his encounter with those brains in OTP, Ron has lost some brain power because he can’t tell the difference between a doe and a stag? Harry “defeats” Voldemorte and everyone has a party before burrying the dead? Two words…”Accio Hagrid?” Stan Shunpike a pimply nosed moron shows talent as a daeth eater? Hermione not only is a bookworm but can cast about 50 spells in rapid succession when she wants to, but can’t quite get a patronus to work when she needs to. Draco is no longer a pale skinned sly badass, he’s now a snivelling drippy noised sissy. Harry a parslemouth can’t tell when a snake is hiding in human clothes? I could keep going of course.

Now what are we missing from this book…
What did Harry’s parents do for a living…aside from hide inside a house and get themselves blownup? What happened to the Weasley’s car? What do Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, Ginny, Draco, and everyone else do now that Voldemort is dead? Who’s taking care of Teddy? What is the curtain in the department of mysteries? Does Umbridge ever die? What happens to Dung and Kreacher? Does Harry ever move in to #12 grimauld place? What happened to the Dursleys and the Grangers? Do Harry and Gang go back to school? How do we go from ignoring each other with Harry and Ginny to bam, 50 kids and married? Why is Ginny depicted as a baby factory? Wizard’s don’t know about birth control?"


Hats off Seraphella. Wish you also wrote your own blog, would have been an enjoyable read! Anyways, continuing back to our review, Deepti writes on her blog Swingingpuss.com something which bothered me most - the non-existent Harry-Ginny romance in this book. She writes and I quote again:

"Ginny was barely on Harry’s mind. Sure, he had Voldemort to deal with and all that shit with the Hallows and a two-timing Dumbledore but his love for Ginny barely crossed his mind. J.K. had conveniently sent Ginny abroad when the situation became volatile. Or how about the time Voldemort was finally defeated? wouldn’t any love-lorn boy want the girl of his dreams to be at his side when he received all the adulation and praise? Instead Harry was saluting the big ‘D’ for all that he had done.

As I read the book I found myself drawn towards the romance between Ron and Hermione whereas Harry’s love was rather limp and unexpressed.

Compare his love for Ginny to the love Snape had for Harry’s mother - Lily. It was the noblest kind of love where he tried to protect her son even at the cost of his own life. He remained true to the love he held dear in his heart since he was nine."


Folks, these 2 great ladies, nope 3 - how could I forget Seraphella! Ruhi and Deepti (the bloggers) and Saraphella (the commenter) really expressed what I actually thought of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I wish J.K Rowling could re-write this book...and take her own time writing it. No doubt it will set records again. 12 million copies for God's sake!

J.K Rowling Staggered by Spoilers

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Written on 1:17 PM by Sarthak K

JK Rowling has hit out at US newspapers that have published plot details from the final Harry Potter book.

The author said she was "staggered" that papers including The New York Times had printed reviews ahead of the novel's publication on 21 July. Rowling said the information was in "complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers".

UK publishers Bloomsbury said spoilers remained "unauthenticated". Some books have been sent out early in the US. The book's US publisher Scholastic has sued online retailer DeepDiscount.com for breaking the strict embargo by dispatching a number of copies.

The seventh and final Harry Potter novel has also appeared on auction site eBay, while pictures of what appeared to be pages from the new book have appeared on the internet.

Rowling said the US newspaper reviews would particularly affect children "who wanted to reach Harry's final destination by themselves, in their own time".

"I am incredibly grateful to all those newspapers, booksellers and others who have chosen not to attempt to spoil Harry's last adventure for fans," she added.

Rowling's statement follows an earlier message on her website, in which she said: "Let's all, please, ignore the misinformation popping up on the web and in the press.

"I'd like to ask everyone who calls themselves a Harry Potter fan to help preserve the secrecy of the plot for all those who are looking forward to reading the book at the same time on publication day."

"In a very short time you will know everything!"

About a month earlier, as if having foreshadowed these very events, Rowling had warned against spoilers. Wow, she does have a knack for making accurate prophecies!

iPhone Nano in the Offing?

0

Written on 1:04 PM by Sarthak K

It sounds crazy, so soon after launch, but the iPhone nano could be coming out before Xmas. Kasper at Apple Insider claims:

• "The second iteration of the handset is presumed to marry iPod functionality with rudimentary cellular capabilities."
•"More resource-heavy internet browsing and email capabilities are not expected of the device."
•"Pricing of the new handset is expected to fall significantly below the $500+ asking cost of today's iPhone models, these sources say, but not so much so as to pinch sales of an upcoming revision to the iPod nano."

Reuters reports Apple filed a patent application on July 5 that seemed to suggest that the company was intending to introduce a Nano-style iPhone with a "circular touch pad control" much like the Nano.

Conjecture among professional speculators who are fueling the iPhone Nano rumors say look for this device to be under $300 and available in time for the holiday shopping season.

Not to miss an opportunity to blab, another analyst contributed to the iPhone rumor mill telling Reuters Apple will likely bring out iPods that resemble the iPhone's touch-sensitive screen later this year. The analyst, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, explains to Reuters: "Such products would help stop iPhone eating into iPod sales."

Apple is not saying a word.

Sources: Gizmodo and PC World

Deathly Hallows Scans Leaked Online?

3

Written on 12:29 PM by Sarthak K

Finally, finally, it seems, there is a real leak facing Bloomsbury and Scholastic - publishers of the UK and US editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows respectively. Less than a week before the book is out, amidst reports of secret and high security warehouses for storing the coveted book, the internet is abuzz with pictures of pages from the supposedly American edition of the 7th Harry Potter.

Have a look:

harry potter and the deathly hallows

deathly hallows scans

harry potter leaked scans


Looking at the above scans, it is difficult to say that its a fake or a hoax. What do you think?

Anyways, I really wonder why someone would take so much trouble as to take pictures of each and very page of the book and then upload it on the net! Although as far as the news is concerned, the whole book has not been leaked but rather 2/3rds of it. But still, thats a major security breach which ought to be investigated! I personally have not gone through any more than the contents section and the first page of the first chapter...and those of you who hate spoilers better not!

For those who just cant resist, you can find more pictures of the above mentioned leak here:

http://forum.ebaumsworld.com/showthread.php?t=212406

My earlier posts about deathly hallows leak and deathly hallows chapter 1 leak were of course cases of fan fiction being glamourised, but they were definitely very well written fan fictions. Rowling would be proud!

5 Cool Harry Potter Articles

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Written on 9:32 AM by Sarthak K

The movie is out - and its a mixed verdict. But what most other Harry Potter fans are eagerly awaiting is the final book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is due just 5 days from today! The media has been abuzz with speculation about the storyline and ending of the 7th Harry Potter book, mostly speculating about whether Harry survives or not. I have compiled a list of articles on Harry Potter which have come out in the recent days and which you might find interesting...


1. Could Harry Potter die? It would make mythological sense
Brace yourselves, Harry Potter fans. No matter how desperate you are for Harry to live, some experts in classic literature and mythology say that finishing off the young wizard would make sense - in a literary kind of way.

J.K. Rowling has never shied from darkness in her phenomenally successful series - it started with the murder of Harry’s parents, continued through his discovery that an evil wizard was trying to destroy him, and has included pain and torture and the deaths of major characters.

She’s already promised two deaths in the seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," coming out July 21, and has refused to commit to Harry surviving. But she couldn’t kill Harry off, could she? She wouldn’t do that, would she? Continue reading...


2. Harry Potter's God complex
Harry's death would show that his character's path is modeled on the Gospel accounts of Jesus', and, that the link between him and wizardry-school headmaster Albus Dumbledore is patterned on the most essential relationship in the Christian Bible — that between Jesus the Son and God the Father.

Critics have long enjoyed noting similarities to Jesus in fictional characters. By the second Potter book, I began to think that was the case here: that the relationship of Harry and Dumbledore was underpinning the narrative in a supernatural, and distinctly Christian, way.

That author J.K. Rowling's series is based on a battle between good and evil is obvious. Continue reading...


3. HARRY POTTER: Questions Remain
J.K. Rowling has kept us waiting for a LONG time. But finally, with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" _ the last in her popular series _ there should be some answers to many questions. Here, in no particular order, are some threads that readers (OK, this reader) would LOVE to see tied up:

Just who is R.A.B.? Fans already have put forth the theory that R.A.B. is Sirius Black's brother Regulus, who is thought to be dead. Is he? Or could he have been in hiding all this time?

What happened to that Horcrux? Continue Reading...


4. Will Harry Potter survive ‘Deathly Hallows’?
There’s one mystery so anticipated and hotly debated that it eclipses all others. It’s not about the whether good will conquer evil in the end. That’s safe enough to assume. The big question is, at what cost? The release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” could mark more than just the end of the story. It might just mean the end of the much-loved bespectacled protagonist himself.

But would the author of the top selling magical franchise really kill off Harry Potter? Reader opinion be damned, Rowling’s never shied away from an unpopular fatality. Continue Reading...


5. You really have to work to avoid Potter spoilers
Each time a Harry Potter book comes out, some inconsiderate Muggle — or ordinary human — spoils the ending for Brian Paladies. For three of the books, he inadvertently learned the endings from friends. An Internet headline revealed another novel’s conclusion.

When the sixth installment was released in 2005, he purchased the book at 12:01 a.m. and planned to read it one sitting. Nothing, he thought, could come between him and a surprise ending.

As the DuPage County man excitedly walked back to his car, a voice cried out across the parking lot: “Dumbledore dies!” Continue Reading...

Be an Editor at Qwickly

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Written on 1:06 PM by Sarthak K

Its been more almost a month since I became a "World News Editor" at Qwickly.com - a community powered website which allows you to become editor and posts stories about your chosen field or niche. I chose to be a news editor because I have always had a great interest in current affairs; so much so that the phrase "eating up the newspaper everyday" could be perfect to be applied on me! Click here to view my profile on Qwickly.

About Qwickly.com

Qwickly.com was created by a group of freelance writers with the idea that a well run community is of greater value than any one individual. Our team oriented organization places each member of the community on equal footing, providing the ultimate in checks and balances.

Our editors are an eclectic group of dedicated writers who each offer specialized knowledge on a particular subject matter. From pregnancy to cell phones and music to recipes, we are confident that each editor is capable of offering valuable expertise.

We believe that we’ve created the preeminent live reference tool available on the internet today. Everyone who visits Qwickly.com contributes to the community, even if by merely browsing the site.

See one of my news entries at Qwickly here.

If you are interested in becoming an editor, you can apply here. Qwickly also shares advertsiement revenue with you - you get 80% and they pocket 20% o the revenue that your news entries generate. Revenue genrated is directly credited to your Adsense account. Dont have and adsense account? You can easily make one by clicking the adsense banner at the bottom of this blog.

Cooking as a Career

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Written on 11:22 AM by Sarthak K

Yesterday morning I was searching for a few recipes on the net - for my mother. While I was busy searching I thought - what if I was a cook! I am not really fascinated by the idea of cooking as a career, but a couple of my friends are doing courses in hotel management - and one of them actually wants to be a chef! While thinking about this I realised that there are lots of good colleges and courses for hotel and restaurant management - but there are few schools that are totally devoted to the art of cooking. I did find out a few good cooking schools giving specialized culinary education, click here to read about one of them.

Culinary education prepares students for various jobs within the food service industry, from restaurant management to pastry chef. It certainly attracts a large number of young people, but it also appeals to older people who wish to change careers, many of whom dream for years of following a full professional course before finally getting around to signing up. When thinking ahead about your culinary education, don't forget that there are several other numbers that should be included in your budgeting equation that just tuition alone.

While a great culinary education can be expensive, remember you're investing in the career of a lifetime.

Apple iPhone Creating Buzz

0

Written on 9:41 AM by Sarthak K

Everyone knew that the iPhone was going to be big from the moment it was announced in early January. Apple CEO Steve Jobs hailed the device as the ultimate in mobile communications given that it could function as a phone, a mobile Internet device and as an iPod.

As the months progressed, the hype mushroomed even though the iPhone lacked a user-replaceable battery, physical keyboard, expansion slot, voice dialing, A2DP, MMS, iChat, flash support, copy and paste ability and video recording -- not to mention that the iPhone was tied solely to AT&T.

It appears that all of the minuses stacked against the iPhone weren't enough to phase buyers who lined up days in advance to purchase the latest "it device" from Cupertino. Not even the $499 (4GB) and $599 (8GB) price tags were enough to keep Apple from selling around 525,000 iPhones from 6:00 PM Friday evening through close of business on Sunday.

Nearly all of AT&T's stores were depleted of iPhone stock by Saturday whereas Apple's retail stores are currently faring much better (you can check iPhone availability here).

Apple's iPhone launch didn't go off glitch free, however. Many users complained of activation problems with iPhone. The iPhone can be activated through iTunes and the steady rush of users scrambling to activate their phones overloaded AT&T's servers.

"We are working on any issues on an individual basis with customers who were impacted," said Michael Coe, a representative for AT&T.

Realted Posts
Apple Iphone - The Revolutinary Iphone Unveiled

Guide For Potter Newbies

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Written on 2:00 PM by Sarthak K

Below is a guide for those who have never read Harry Potter yet and would love to give the first 6 books a quick overview so that they can enjoy the 7th Harry Potter nicely. Even those who have read all books from the 1st - 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' to the 6th - 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince' can read this to refresh thier memories!


PS: Feed readers will have to visit the blog to view this guide as it uses macromedia shockwave.

Harry Potter 7: One Month to Go

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Written on 5:19 PM by Sarthak K

Today: June 21
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release Date: July 21

Only one month to go! Anticipation is at its peak even as news comes out that a hacker has got access to the digital copy of author J.K. Rowling's seventh and final book by breaking into a computer at London-based Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Warning: The rest of this post might contain spoilers about the end of the final Harry Potter book, or possibly a lot of made-up crap - don't read it if you think it will ruin the story.

For months now, leading up to the book's July 21 release, legions of Harry Potter fans have debated whether Rowling killed Harry or one of his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, in the final Harry Potter book. "Gabriel" has posted information at Web site http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2007/Jun/0380.html that, if true, would answer that question.

"We make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring," Gabriel said in the posting and he includes several details that he claimed came form the publishers computer, because of open access and exploits use that were located on Milw0rm.com.

Kyle Good, a spokesman for U.S. distributor Scholastic Corp., would not say whether the posting was accurate, but did warn readers to be skeptical about anything on the Web that claims to have inside information on the book's plot. "There is a whole lot of junk flying around," she said. "Consider this one more theory."

An earlier supposed Harry potter Book 7 leak was found out to be a fan fiction. However, this news has actually made it to the headlines of major newspapers and online journals. I hope its all untrue!

Article: Harry Potter Hacked: JK Rowling Deathly Hallows Ending Leaked Online?

Fruit could make 'powerful fuel'

0

Written on 3:41 PM by Sarthak K

Scientitsts in the United States say they have broken new ground in biofuels, transforming plant sugar into a liquid fuel that packs 40% more energy than ethanol and appears to have fewer of its drawbacks. The sugar found in fruit such as apples and oranges can be converted into a new type of low carbon fuel for cars.


Fructose — the sugar found in fruit such as apples and oranges can be converted into a new type of low carbon fuel for cars. Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is currently the only car fuel made in large quantities from biomass, under fast-expanding initiatives to wean industrialized economies from dirty, costly oil.

Biomass sources such as corn, sugarcane and other plants are rich in potential energy, in the form of large chains of carbohydrates. In their plant form, these long sugary molecules comprise six carbon atoms and six oxygen atoms.

But car engines like a leaner form of carbohydrate molecule — one with between five and 15 carbon atoms and with very little oxygen.

Most ethanol facilities harness biology, using enzymes to break down starch and cellulose to glucose, which is then fermented by a common yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide.

But the process takes days and the fuel still has relatively high levels of oxygen, which reduces its energy density, makes it evaporate readily and leaves it liable to water contamination by absorbing atmospheric humidity.

The process is renewable and environmentally-friendlier than fossils but not completely clean. Energy has to be used to harvest and process the biomass, and this makes biofuels carbon-positive, not carbon-neutral.

News Source

YouTube Remixer: Edit videos Online

0

Written on 5:06 PM by Sarthak K

YouTube has officially launched YouTube Remixer, a new service that allows users to edit their videos from within YouTube itself.

The new feature is powered by Adobe Premiere Express and supports insertion of graphics, text and audio as well as overlays and in-video transitions. YouTube Remixer is nearly identical to Photobucket’s Remix tool; both are powered by Adobe.



This isn’t an offering that is going to be embraced by serious content creators but it is ideal for casual YouTube uploaders. The interface is fairly simple if perhaps a little bit dull and boring. Creating a one stop shop for all things video at YouTube is a natural progression path that gives prosumers another reason to spend more time on the site; it’s just that it’s grey, uninspiring and so very not Google. I can also find no personal appeal in adding Gingerbread men to my videos; however others may view the service differently.

Source: TechCrunch

The Northern Lights of Alaska

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Written on 2:20 PM by Sarthak K

A scenic natural phenomenon


The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, shines above Bear Lake here Jan. 18. The lights are the result of solar particles colliding with gases in Earth's atmosphere. Early Eskimos and Indians believed different legends about the Northern Lights, such as they were the souls of animals dancing in the sky or the souls of fallen enemies trying to rise again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang)

Original

Idea Cellular Customer Care Sucks

19

Written on 7:07 AM by Sarthak K

IF you are living in Delhi, you sure must be aware of the GSM provider called Idea Cellular. After all, its the abode for you if you want ultra cheap call rates and sms - but of course, there are no free lunches. What Idea cellular offers through its cheap call rates, it takes back through its poor customer service.

For the past 2-3 days, I'm facing an odd phenomenon in my Idea SIM that I've never faced before. I have an Idea Prepaid sim card, and my balance has gone into negative without any rhyme or reason. In fact, yesterday when I checked, it was -3.66 and today its -5.66 rupees! I tried calling up Idea customer care at 4444, but the response I got was -

"All our customer care executives are busy, please try again later!"

I tried calling Idea customer care repeatedly for one hour, and got the same pathetic response. Then I called up randomly, once every half an hour - again the same situation!! Then I tried to sms their customer care (which is obviously free) at 12345, and this time my sms would not go because I would get the message -
"Message Sending Failed. No Network Support for Messages"

I then and there decided to write this post. My blood is boiling, and I really despise the Idea cellular punchline - "An idea can change your life!"

It sure does change your life by irritating you, annoying you and raising your blood pressure, thus making you more prone to depression and ill health!

That is why -

Idea Customer Care Sucks

If you have an Idea Prepaid or postpaid connection and faced such problems, please do comment here! Till that time, I will contemplate whether I should quit using Idea for my cellphone or not.

Deathly Hallows Deluxe Edition Cover Art Unveiled

0

Written on 7:00 AM by Sarthak K

The Deluxe Edition Cover Art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'

was unveiled yesterday by US publisher Scholastic.

The art, by Mary GrandPré, who has illustrated all the American editions of the Harry Potter books, will be the wrap-around dust jacket for the book, inside a slip case.


The illustration shows Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, riding on a dragon.

According to the official Today show blog, this edition with a print run of 100,000 copies, will retail for $65 and contain 816 pages. Arthur Levine, US editor of the Harry Potter books, is noted in the article as saying that the Special Edition cover art is from one of his favorite scenes in the book, and was an image he specifically asked to be featured on the Deluxe cover.

Scholastic Vice President and Creative Director, David Saylor describes the scene as:

"Set during a highly dramatic sunset, Harry, Hermione, and Ron--clothes in tatters--cling atop a flying dragon in this astonishing artwork created by Mary GrandPré for the deluxe edition. As mist creeps down towering hillsides to a village below, questions arise about where the trio is headed and what has led them to this spellbinding moment."

See the Box Art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Deluxe Edition below:


The Harry Potter Scholastic website now features the Deluxe Edition cover art as well as the option to explore, up close, this amazing new cover.

News Source: The Leaky Cauldron

Pre-Order Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Deluxe Edition from Amazon.com

Site Review: Digital Filmmaking Blog

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Written on 2:47 PM by Sarthak K

Digital Filmmaking Blog is as the title says - a blog on film making - digital filmmaking to be precise. It is authored by who else, but yours truly :-) Its tough maintaining 2 blogs when blogging is a hobby you cannot devote your full time to!

It is quite unfair to review my own blog, but I'll give it a try. I'd rather appreciate that my readers check it out and post their thoughts and comments here. Now to the review. Filmmaking is quite a specialized subject, in which few people might be interested in. By those I mean people like film school students, amateur filmmakers, independent and short filmmakers and so on...

But those who are genuine movie buffs and appreciate the art and craft of cinema also follow the ways of making a film. It is quite exciting, challenging, well paying and of course a lot of hard work! Now my blog focuses on ways to make a good digital film - things like choosing the right camera, Shooting for the Web, DV Shooting Tips, how to film from a car and so on....

Most of the material I have there is stuff learnt in my film school (yes I'm a film student - just graduated!) , some from filmmaking books (not copy pasted though), some from the net and rest by reading other filmmaking blogs. The design of that site is pretty serious and decent. A smart, decent package on the whole I feel. The only problem - my posting frequency has declined and I'm trying to work myself on improving that! Would appreciate some comments...

Being on Orkut Could Land You a Job

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Written on 2:33 PM by Sarthak K

Orkut is one of the most popular social networking sites in the Indian subcontinent and even in some Latin American countries like Brazil. In fact, what Myspace is to America and Americans, Orkut is to India and Indians. Almost every Indian netizen has a profile of him or her on orkut.


But did you know that 25 per cent of job recruitment by BPOs in India is done through social networking websites? Read On...

A resurgent and hungry corporate India is actively scanning these social networking websites to fill up its ever expanding ranks. Media student Rajeev Pawar, 22, from Rizvi College and also an Orkut user recently got one such job offer. “I have been part of the BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media) community on Orkut for a year. I was offered a job of creative writer by an advertising agency,” he says.

Human resources consultant Raghav, founder of HRinIndia Ltd, says recruitment through social networking websites is a new trend, but one which is expanding rapidly. Netscribes India, a knowledge solutions company, has been recruiting people through the social networking websites during the last year.

“We check the individual’s personal and professional background on the website and when we think it is as per our need, we contact the person. It is a new idea; but it’s working out fine,” says Nikhil Nagda, HR Associate, Netscribes India.

Even companies like Ma Foi Consultants experimented with social networking site for a short while, allowing individual departments to use Orkut for their recruitment needs. “We did use Orkut for head hunting. It wasn’t organised, but done at an individual level,” says Karishma Gupta, Head, Human Resources, Ma Foi. “But it didn’t yield much and we had to restrict access.”

A point that K Sudarshan, Operations Manager with HR Axis India, agrees with completely. “For all you know, the employee might not work at all and become a part of the social networking website for personal reasons,” he says.

Nagda, however, says that the benefits of using Orkut and other social networking sites like LinkedIn as a recruitment platform far outweigh its disadvantages. “The process is fairly simple. We go join the different communities formed within the networking sites. That allows us to scan profiles and then we initiate contact with people who have potential,” he says.

Harry Potter Theme Park a Reality

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Written on 3:43 PM by Sarthak K

A theme park inspired by the adventures of schoolboy wizard Harry Potter is to open in the US. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter will open at the Universal Orlando Resort, in Florida, in 2009.

harry potter theme park
Harry Potter author JK Rowling said: "The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed."

Touted as a "theme park within a theme park", it will feature attractions and rides based on Harry Potter locations.

'Authentic'

Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig, who has worked on the Harry Potter films, is leading the creative design for the park to ensure it remains faithful to JK Rowling's vision.

"Our primary goal is to make sure this experience is an authentic extension of Harry Potter's world as it is portrayed in the books and films," said Craig.

The Harry Potter series of books has been translated into 65 languages with more than 325 million copies sold worldwide. The films, produced by Warner Bros, have grossed more than $3.5bn (£1.7bn) at the box office worldwide.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film in the series, will open in cinemas on 13 July 2007.

The seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be published on 21 July.

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